ABU DHABI // In the movie business, issues of gender and make-up blend without fuss, because the industry requires it. Male stars need the concealer stick just as much as their leading ladies do.
For the past 20 years, Sarah Baldry has been doing make-up for celebrities, models and royal families, and she is now the leading make-up artist for the 2010 Abu Dhabi Film Festival and L'Oréal Paris at the Emirates Palace hotel.
"The film industry has [dismissed] the whole masculine/feminine role," said Ms Baldry. "Make-up is a necessity because of the amount of lighting and photography involved."
Currently working for uConcept, a health and fitness company, Ms Baldry has been based in Dubai for 10 years. This is the first film festival she has worked at. With a team of at least 14 people buzzing about the suite where all the magic happens, it helps, she said, when everyone works in unison.
And remaining professional is paramount when you're doing make-up for high profile celebrities like Julianne Moore, Gérard Depardieu, Somaya al Khasab, Lebleba, and Adrien Brody, she said.
"Celebrities are conscious of the vibe you send. I am confident in my abilities, and that is what the clients are receptive to," she said.
Depending on the person, it can take anywhere between five minutes and half-an-hour to give them the right look for the red carpet.
Imad Deiratany, a Lebanese filmmaker, said young actors tend to be more worried about their looks - especially those at the start of their career.
"Make-up does not have to be a big issue; it should be just about hiding the small [imperfections]," he said. "But younger actors are far more conscious of the need to be good-looking; older and more established actors tend to concentrate more on choosing a good role, not their appearance."
For those wanting to get a taste of the star treatment, L'Oréal Paris has a stall at Emirates Palace.